Fill in the Blanks



February 14, 2019, Panel 1 "Fill in the Blanks": Martin Lewis introduces the conference; Erika Monahan and Zoltán Biedermann present their papers. For more panel videos, click here.


"Appropriating Blank Spots: Witsen's Use of Remesov's Siberian Maps" is curated by Erika Monahan. Monahan is currently a visiting associate professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. She is an associate professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Her first book, The Merchants of Siberia: Trade in Early Modern Eurasia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016) won the Lincoln Prize for a first monograph of exceptional merit and lasting significance in understanding Russia’s past. She authored “Locating Rhubarb: Early Modernity’s Relevant Obscurity,” in Early Modern Things: Objects and their Histories, ed. Paula Findlen (Routledge, 2013) and most recently, “Moving Pictures: Tobol’sk Travelling in Early Modern Texts,” Canadian-American Slavic Studies 52.2-3 (2018). She co-edited, along with Michael Flier, Valerie Kivelson, and Daniel B. Rowland, the volume Seeing Muscovy Anew: Politics–Institutions–Culture. Essays Honoring Nancy Shields Kollmann (Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2017). Her current projects include updating and expanding Lindsey Hughes’ The Romanovs, Ruling Russia, 1613–1917 (Bloomsbury, 2009) and seeking to better understand Russia’s place in the early modern world through a study of the life and works of the Dutchman Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717). She is the Book reviews editor for Canadian-American Slavic Studies.

"Drawing Lines to Tame the Unknown" is curated by Zoltán Biedermann. Biedermann is a historian of the Portuguese empire in Asia, with a focus on the lands and islands surrounding the Arabian Sea. He is the main author of the Historical Atlas of the Persian Gulf (2006), which documents the developments of European cartographic representations of the Gulf up to 1800. He is also the author of a history of the island of Soqotra (Soqotra, Geschichte einer christlichen Insel, 2006), and two books on the Portuguese in Sri Lanka and South India (The Portuguese in Sri Lanka and South India, 2014 and (Dis)connected Empires, 2018). In parallel to his work on political and diplomatic history, he has written on mapmaking, literary cartography, and more generally the politics of space. He has held appointments at Brown University, the EHESS in Paris, the New University of Lisbon, and Birkbeck College London, and is currently Associate Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at University College London.